My work has been evolving through a documentary practice into a perspective interested in topologies united by the disparity of their geological features and use, while searching for a nuanced perspective on contemporary issues. The Edge (2014 – 2017) is a series of photographs representing the dynamic between landscapes and activity along the coastline of the United Arab Emirates. This project is part of a longer trajectory involving interiors and exteriors in the Middle East, where I first began to make photographs.
The cultural and social identity of the UAE is particularly tied to its coastline, which played a deciding role in the development of the nation. The coastline provides an income resource and a connection between the Emirates and the rest of the world; first through shipping trade and fishing, and currently through the exploration of the oil industry and coast-based tourism. This changing relationship between the traditional and contemporary use of these waterways creates the space that I explore.
Since the discovery of oil off the coast of Abu Dhabi over 50 years ago, the UAE’s 1,300km coastline, along with its cities and towns, has undergone considerable changes. Nestled in a pocket of financial security, it is growing diverse in form and function, with industry, tourism, and recreation shifting the scale and rhythm of the natural and the built environment. The landscape of the Emirates is aesthetically influenced by decades of substantial development, migratory movement, and lifestyles of the people who build, support and engineer the country.
The Edge seeks to survey the way the coastal landscape reflects present day socioeconomic realities of the Emirates.